"Printing falsehoods is against the law"— Sacha Baron Cohen's team responds to UK edition of Rebel Wilson's memoir redacting 'defamatory claims'

Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen, (Images via @rebelwilson & @sachabaroncohen/Instagram)
Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen, (Images via @rebelwilson & @sachabaroncohen/Instagram)

Rebel Wilson's memoir Rebel Rising was finally published in the UK on April 25, after the original date of April 4 was postponed. However, the UK edition of the memoir was published after redacting the parts where Wilson spoke about The Dictator actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

Despite the book being released in the United States on April 4, the release dates for Australia and the UK were postponed. Cohen's legal team spoke to Variety about the redaction in the UK version of the memoir and said,

"Printing falsehoods is against the law in the U.K. and Australia; this is not a ‘peculiarity’ as Ms. Wilson said but a legal principle that has existed for many hundreds of years."

Harper Collins publishes a redacted version of Rebel Wilson's memoir Rebel Rising in the United Kingdom

How To Be Single actress Rebel Wilson's memoir, in redacted form, was released in the UK on April 25. The version does not contain several parts in which Wilson spoke about working with actor Sacha Baron Cohen on the sets of the 2016 movie The Brothers Grimsby.

Following the news of the redaction in the UK edition, Cohen's legal team said that the step proves Cohen's "victory."

"This is a clear victory for Sacha Baron Cohen and confirms what we said from the beginning — that this is demonstrably false, in a shameful and failed effort to sell books."

Harper Collins in the UK confirmed to The Guardian that "for legal reasons," "most of one page" would be redacted in the country.

"We are publishing every page, but for legal reasons, in the U.K. edition, we are redacting most of one page with some other small redactions and an explanatory note."

The publishing company stated that the "small portions were part of a bigger story." According to The Guardian, the actor's legal team also issued a statement to the publication house.

"Harper Collins did not fact check this chapter in the book prior to publication and took the sensible but terribly belated step of deleting Rebel Wilson’s defamatory claims once presented with evidence that they were false," Cohen's representatives said.

An entire chapter of the memoir has been redacted from the Australian/New Zealand version

Apart from the UK edition, the Australia and New Zealand editions will not contain several parts of the memoir in which the actress made allegations against Sacha Baron Cohen. The memoir is set to be released in the two countries on May 8, 2024.

"For legal reasons, we have redacted one chapter in the Australian/New Zealand edition and included an explanatory note accordingly," Harper Collins Australia told The Guardian.

They further mentioned in the statement that they are excited for the readers to finally get to read this book and know about Rebel Wilson's life. The Guardian reported that the chapter titled "Sacha Baron Cohen and Other A**holes" has faced censoring and redaction from the book.

However, only a little has been redacted in the UK version. This makes the Australian/New Zealand version of Wilson's memoir the most impacted one. In the much-talked-about chapter, Wilson wrote about her experience while she was shooting The Brothers Grimsby with Cohen.

The UK version has a part in the chapter where Wilson describes the experience as one of the worst ones. While the publication house claimed that the release dates in Australia and the UK were delayed so that they could match Rebel Wilson's press releases, the actress seemed to disagree. She claimed that Cohen attempted to stop the memoir from getting published.

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In the original memoir, Wilson wrote how Cohen tried to talk her into doing some graphic s*x scenes. She claimed she called for a meeting with Sacha Baron Cohen, the director, and the writers to discuss what she is comfortable doing in the film.

"The attitude I felt from them was: Rebel Wilson is causing an issue. I’m the problem. Why won’t I just film the graphic s*x scene as written, where because I’m so overweight the bed falls through the floor?," she wrote in her memoir.

Rebel Wilson claimed that she finally agreed to "shoot something" since she just wanted to get over it and leave the "awkward room." Earlier this month, Wilson appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen and stated that no amount of money could make her work with Cohen ever again.

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